i-Tunes App Aids Plastic Pipe Assembly
McElroy has introduced a pipe-fusion-focused Apple iTunes application for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The McCalc Fusion Pressure Calculator is a free application that helps a fusion machine operator to find the correct fusion pressure calculations for a job.
Plastic pipe is widely used in dredging of abrasive materials, such as sand and gravel.
To properly heat-fuse polyethylene pipe, fusion pressure must be calculated in accordance to the pipe manufacturer’s recommended interfacial pressure. When using the McCalc Fusion Pressure Calculator application, the operator selects or keys in the pipe size, pressure requirements and the fusion machine to discover the recommended theoretical gauge pressure.
“We’ve always felt that the best way to further the pipe fusion industry is to get easy-to-use tools in the hands of pipeliners,” said Chip McElroy, president of McElroy. “The McCalc Fusion Pressure Calculator application isn’t the only tool for calculating fusion pressure that we’ve produced. On our Web site, we offer PDA software for download, the opportunity to order a slide rule calculator for use in the field, a web-based McCalc version and a tutorial on learning to calculate fusion pressure manually,” he said.
The McCalc Fusion Pressure Calculator application is simple to use. After downloading McCalc through the iTunes Store, open the application and choose the machine and the machine’s total effective piston area (TEPA). Next, choose the pipe size, wall thickness, interfacial pressure and drag pressure. Once all the parameters of the fusion are set, the “calculate fusion pressure” button is selected and the calculation’s answer displayed.
ABOUT PIPE FUSION
Pipe fusion is a widely accepted process that joins two pieces of thermoplastic pipe together with heat and pressure. Commonly associated with high-density polyethylene pipe (HDPE), the butt fusion process starts by “facing” or shaving the pipe ends simultaneously so that they can be joined together with heat to create a continuous, sealed pipeline. The welding of the pipes is accomplished by using a hot plate in contact with the pipe ends, which heats the plastic to a molten state. Then, after its removal, the ends are pressed together under a controlled force to form a weld that is as strong as or stronger than the pipe itself. Third-party industry research indicates that HDPE pipe and joints can have a lifespan of more than 100 years.